Unfortunately Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands is unable to attend our live launch today of Carer Friendly Brum. He has sent his apologies as well as a statement to all Carers.
I recognise the vital contribution made to society across the West Midlands, and indeed the whole country, by Carers who look after relatives and friends, some of our most vulnerable citizens. As Carers will know, despite the challenges, caring can bring many rewards and there is nothing more natural than helping our loved ones fulfil and maintain a quality of life that would not otherwise be possible.
I’m also conscious that many Carers, in the course of their incredible commitment, often neglect to look after their own needs. I know from my own circle of friends and family the difficulty of maintaining a positive work-life balance and how exhausting being a Carer can be. Inevitably, caring for others will always involve an element of sacrifice but, my message, particularly in the current Covid-19 world in which we finds ourselves, is that it is increasingly important for the Carers to also look after themselves. One of the positives of living through Covid-19 has been the emergence of a new found appreciation and deeply held respect not only for our NHS heroes, but also the millions of people who work in the adult social care sector and the many countless carers who work voluntarily to look after friends and family.
In closing, caring impacts on all aspects of life from relationships and health to finances and work and these should not be underestimated. I know that carers are facing even more difficult circumstances this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. It is vitally important that we recognise the contribution carers make to their families and local communities, workplaces and society, and that they get the support they need, and I’m delighted that Carer’s Week will further enhance and highlight the importance of carers to our regions health and mental wellbeing.
Andy Street | Mayor of the West Midlands